Diploma Registered Practical Nurse to B.Sc.N. (McMaster)
2017/18 Program Handbook
Program Code: 1185
School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
This is a companion document to the current Conestoga College Student Guide
The purpose of this handbook is to provide students with program-specific details and other important information. The material in this handbook is accurate at the date of posting, and is applicable for the current academic year. Students will be informed of handbook changes that occur, if any, through college email. Program handbooks are updated yearly and students must check their program handbook for the current edition.
To the School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services
Your Bridge to Practice
What Can This Mean For You?
- The opportunity to begin, today, to become the professional you aspire to be.
- The opportunity to learn in life-like settings and with real-life scenarios, rehearsing for the day when you will be in these real-life situations.
- A unique inter-professional opportunity, given the number of different disciplines in the school. You will learn with, about and from your future colleagues.
- An opportunity to take advantage of the state-of-the-art facilities, social and study spaces in our Cowan Health Sciences Centre, as well as other unique learning resources such as the Motz Emergency Service Bays in the Regional of Waterloo Paramedic Services Station and the Child Development Centre (Doon Campus), or the WeConnect Agora and Simulation Centre (Living Classroom at University Gates).
- Your goal of being viewed by employers as a "preferred graduate" is up to you; your professors, support staff, administrative staff and college services look forward to supporting you as you journey from day one to your graduation.
1. Use MyConestoga to Connect To:
Your Conestoga Email: (e.g. John Smith, Student Number 1234567, firstname.lastname@example.org)
- This is the official communication vehicle regarding your academic requirements. Communication with Faculty/staff should only be through your conestoga email account. Communication through other accounts may not be responded to. Check it regularly and respond as requested.
BscN Students: CoMAC Communication Hub
- This feature can be accessed through "My Communities" on My Conestoga
- Source to information regarding Conestoga College and your Studies
- Link to Avenue to Learn
- Student Handbook posting
Avenue To Learn:
- This is your resource for all course-based program information and course-based communication with your faculty
- Make A2L your partner in learning - this is your guide to all course activity.
Practicum Health Requirements: (Go to "Services" and find "Practicum Services Link")
- Keep track of your requirements on an ongoing basis; check that they are complete to allow you to go on your practicum (if applicable).
2. Know and Plan Around Your Academic Schedule With Your Family
- Your schedule has been planned with many people and multiple considerations in mind.
- Classes can be scheduled from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Note: times for practicums follow work place schedules).
The Academic Year has critical dates: Please plan around these dates and cross reference these dates with the McMaster University sessional dates, to ensure you are here when you need to be.
|Fall 2017||Dates||Winter 2018||Dates|
|Fall Orientation Week||Aug. 29 – Sept. 2||Winter Orientation||January 3|
|Fall Semester Classes Start||September 5||Winter Semester Classes Start||January 4|
|Mid-Term Recess||October 9-15||Mid-Term Recess||Feb. 19-25|
|Final Exams||December 8-21||Final Exams||April 11-26|
|Intersession (no classes)||Dec. 23-Jan.3/18||Intersession (no classes)||
May 1- May 5
3. Be the Professional You Wish To Become - From Day One
Civility, respect and professional behaviours will be key in the quality of your learning experience—and a future employer's first and lasting impression.
Professional Dress & Conduct: See Professional Conduct section for professionalism expectations for your program. The college's Student Guide sets out Student Code of Conduct for our community at Conestoga.
Pre-practicum Health Requirements: Pay attention to the deadlines listed on your documents. Complete as required; without these, you will not be able to progress to your practicum and your program completion will be in jeopardy.
Social Media: Use responsibly. See Standards of Conduct section of the Handbook.
4. Attend To Enhance Success
Please Review Attendance Expectations in Section four of the Handbook: Attendance for class, labs and practicum underpins student learning and your experience as a future professional.
Request for Accommodation for Religious Holidays: Request must be submitted to your Program Coordinator as per course schedule. See Religious Holidays sections in the Program Handbook.
5. Take Responsibility for Your Academic Status
Student Records if you have questions about your student record, academic status and or program withdrawals, speak to your Program Coordinator.
Fee Payments: Payment is required to attend classes. Check your Student Portal for invoices.
Credit Transfer/Exemptions: Conestoga supports the transferability of academic credits between programs and educational institutions through recognized transfer pathways, articulation agreements and course-to-course equivalences. Please refer to the Student Guide for more information.
Student Forms: To access forms go to the Student Forms page.
Academic Policies & Procedures: May be found under Policies and Procedures.
Student Affairs Polices & Procedures: May be found at the Student Affairs page.
1. Your Teaching Team
Appointments: Making appointments (in person, by phone, email) helps to ensure your desired resource is available.
Email Inquiries: will be answered within two business days.
Urgent Need for Help: Program Assistants are available to help you reach one of the Teaching Team (contact information in Relationships Section of the Handbook)
2. Counselling and Services for Personal Needs
College Counselling: Professionally-trained counsellors can help you achieve your educational goals—for such common support as stress management, anxiety, depression, transition issues, family issues, etc. Counselling is free, voluntary and confidential. Arrange to see a Counsellor quickly if academic or personal problems stand in the way of your college success. To make an appointment, visit or call Doon-Room 1A101, 519-748-5220, ext. 3360, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Check the counselling services website for more information.
Good2Talk: Confidential 24-hour phone line for stresses big and small. Call 1-866-925-5454.
Conestoga Security: Provides a safe and secure work and learning environment. Call 519-748-5220 ext. 3357. Refer to the Student Guide for Conestoga's Safety and Security Services and procedures.
Student Financial Services: Student Financial Services can help you by providing you with options to finance your post-secondary education.
CSI Food Bank: The CSI Food Bank is an emergency food relief program for current Conestoga students.
Health Services: Your family doctor on campus. Check out the services that they offer on their website or call 519-748-5220 ext. 3679. Services available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.A full-time health nurse is on site.
Facility Information: Refer to the Student Guide for information on after-hours parking, classroom and computer labs.
3. Accessibility Services
Students with Documented Disabilities are encouraged to book an appointment with Accessibility Services to access accommodations –early in your program. Disability-related documentation will be required to book an appointment. Go to the Accessibility Services webpage for more information.
Adaptive Technology Aids and Special Facilities: Adaptive Aids are arranged through Accessibility Services; handicapped–accessible washrooms are located throughout the campus. Contact the Adaptive Technology Lab for more information on adaptive technology aids.
4. Student Study Spaces and General Supports
Cowan Health Sciences Centre (F-wing)
Student Lounge Space: Enjoy seats on each of the three floors. Plugs for laptops and charging stations are located throughout these areas.
Student Meeting Room Space: There is both formal and informal student study space available for use within the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. For more information on the availability of this space, please go to the Interprofessional Resources Office (2F16).
General Access Computers and printers are located in two areas:
- 1st Floor—in the student lounge area with photocopier
- 2nd Floor—at the Customer Service Desk and kiosk area
Open Access Lab, 2nd Floor, 2F18.
This is available on a come and go basis for health & pre-health programs practicing key skills. It is open from 8:00am-4:00pm. Book with an Open Access Staff.
Lockers are available with your tuition; important to store your extra clothes and books, etc. so that you can be at your professional best in the lab. Learn how to obtain a locker.
Information Technology: IT Service Desk—1E12 (provides supports & general assistance with college-related needs such as Email, Network accounts, connectivity & wireless printing. Go to the Web IT Service Desk for more information.
5. Services for Students
Library Resource Centre: Located on 2nd Floor B Wing; Go to the Library Resource Centre page for more information.
International Education Office: Check out the International Education Office for services available to you.
Learning Commons: Your one-stop resource for academic services and resources, such as Math, Writing Skills, Peer Tutors and resources for APA. Check out their website or Access through MyConestoga.
Student Life: Get involved and shape your experience. Visit the Student Life page or Connect to MyConestoga for your Co-Curricular Record.
Student Financial Services: Your one-stop resource to apply for student awards, bursaries, and scholarships apply early to increase your chances.
Bookstore: Your location to buy books (check out their options including used books), clothing for your program and general supplies. Find it in the A wing, just inside Door 1.
Co-op and Career Advising: Your resource for Co-op Placements (if you are in a degree); your source of help to look for summer jobs or future careers and gain help preparing your resume. Check out the Co-op and Career Services site for more information.
Dear RPN-BScN Nursing Students,
Welcome to RPN-BScN Nursing at the Conestoga Site of the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN Program. You have worked very hard to get to this point and are now beginning the next stage of your journey to reach your career goals. This is a very exciting time.
The material in this handbook has been prepared to provide further information about academic standards, regulations, procedures, and processes specific to the Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BScN) Program. Please note that general information about the College can be found in the Conestoga College Student Guide, which applies to all students regardless of program. Academic Standards and regulations can be found in the McMaster University, Undergraduate Calendar, as well as program specifics in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook, which will be referred to throughout this handbook.
Please take time to familiarize yourself with this material. Use the index in this handbook as your guide and the contents as your continuous reference as you proceed through the program. The BScN faculty and staff will refer to the handbook often, but the responsibility for knowing the program standards is ultimately yours. If you do not understand ask your program team member, professor, level coordinator, or Program Chair for an explanation.
On behalf of the Nursing Faculty and staff at the Conestoga Site, I wish you much success and many rewarding experiences with us in the RPN-BScN Program!
All the very best to you in your studies.
Heather Cross, Chair of Nursing
BScN Coordinators and Faculty
The program of study for Diploma Registered Practical Nurses to B.Sc.N prepares students for practice as registered nurses. It builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in the diploma practical nurse program. Students enter the program at Level II. Level II nursing courses are designed to assist in the transition of students to baccalaureate studies. Students are integrated with Conestoga B.Sc.N. students of the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. program for most courses. The curriculum is planned for three academic years of full-time study. Upon successful completion of this program, the graduate will be awarded the B.Sc.N. degree by McMaster University.
You are now a RPN-BScN Nursing Student in the McMaster Mohawk Conestoga RPN-BScN Program (Conestoga Site). Therefore it is important that you become very familiar with the information in the McMaster University Undergraduate Nursing Education Program (UNEP) Handbook that is found on the McMaster Learning Management system, 'Avenue to Learn' and on myConestoga under 'My Communities' click on 'BScN Students – CoMac'.
The UNEP Handbook provides a complete overview of the BScN Kaleidoscope Curriculum, a summary of the program and teaching-learning methodology, the philosophy and beliefs about nursing and nursing education, and the goals that students must meet before they can proceed to the next level.
Please refer to the UNEP Handbook and familiarize yourself the contents. Your professor will be referring to the handbook frequently in your Level 2 Nursing courses because it provides the foundation for nursing education in the RPN- BScN Program.
We are very pleased that the quality of your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree has been recognized by external bodies and employers. The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing has given this program their highest level of accreditation which is 7 years. Conestoga College was in the first number of colleges to obtain funding to integrate a simulation center into their curriculum. Conestoga nursing graduates have been employed in many different areas and specialties in Ontario, Canada and internationally.
Together, faculty and students can ensure that our program continues to be one of the highest rated programs in the province.
Program Quality Standards – Curriculum Content
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Performance Indicators
This Program provides you with:
- Skills and abilities specific to your chosen career. Curriculum within the program is based on current nursing theory and practice. Professional practice courses will ensure that students are employable in the nursing field immediately upon graduation and eligible to write the Ontario Registration Exams.
- Learning/ topics relevant to your future success. Course curriculum is developed based on national program standards as well as the Entry Level Competencies of entry-level Registered Nurses in Ontario. Topics within each course will relate directly to the development of students' values, knowledge, and skills requisite to professional practice. Your instructor will share real-life examples of how course content is directly related to the work of the nurse in a variety of areas.
- Teachers and staff who help you to understand your chosen career. All faculty within the program have a Master's degree in nursing or other related field as well as practical experience. Faculty and staff will incorporate real life examples, case studies, and guest speakers into the curriculum that illustrate the role, responsibilities, challenges and rewards of nursing.
- Faculty and staff have been chosen for their passion, and professional experience as well as their aptitude and credentials for education.
- The development of your writing skills. The ability to write well will be important in your work. There are opportunities to grow in your scholarly writing skills implemented in the junior years of the program. Feedback from faculty on essay assignments throughout the program will suggest ways to improve writing abilities. Professional practice courses will implement writing skills that you will use on a daily basis in the practice setting.
- The development of your speaking skills. There will be opportunities through presentation assignments to speak to both small and large groups. Feedback on presentations will include comments on student speaking skills and suggest ways to improve. In several courses, small group discussion related to a care scenario will give you the opportunity to practice your speaking skills and receive feedback about your contributions to the group discussion.
- The opportunity to use your ability to solve problems using math techniques. You will be using math techniques to solve problems surrounding dispensing medications to your clients. There will be ample amount of time to practice these skills in the practice setting.
- Opportunities to develop your ability to work with others. This is a hallmark of successful employees in every organization. The problem based approach that we use in the program will help students learn effective ways of working with others. Students will have many opportunities each semester to develop their abilities to work with others through collaboration with their classmates on presentations, essays, and weekly in their Person Based classes.
- Opportunities to develop your abilities to solve problems. Problem-solving frameworks will be addressed through course curriculum—as part of becoming the nurse whose role is to work with clients and situations constantly requiring creativity and problem solving. Case studies, ethical dilemmas, simulations and practice examples will challenge students' abilities to problem-solve in areas that relate to professional practice.
- Enhancement of your computer skills. Your use of on-line resources plus your ability in advanced literacy research skills will demonstrate your capability with computers and will provide evidence to future employers of your capability to work in the "e world".
- Opportunities to further your education after graduation. There are many opportunities for the B.Sc.N graduate to further their education. These opportunities include pursuing a Masters or PhD in Nursing, Nurse Practitioner or certifications in a number of categories, to name a few. The curriculum has a 7 year accreditation by CASN which is the highest that is given.
- Experience that will be useful to your future life outside of work. Course curriculum and assignments provide information regarding self-awareness and personal development, professionalism, family relationships, healthy lifestyles, health teaching, community and political awareness, leadership, problem-solving skills and teamwork. The ethics and values needed to be successful in nursing have applicability to many aspects of a student's personal life.
- Overall--knowledge and skills that will be useful in your future career. The program curriculum provides information and opportunities for skill development that relate directly to the knowledge and skills required of a Registered Nurse.
The breadth and depth of the curriculum will be consistent with the Entry to Practice Competencies from the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and the standards that Canadian Association of the Schools of Nursing (CASN) puts forth.
Program Quality Standards – Teachers and Learning Resources
Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program Performance Indicators
This Program provides you with:
- Teachers with in-depth knowledge of their subjects' faculty within the program have a Master's degree in nursing or other related field. as well as practical experience
- Teachers and staff who are up-to-date/current in their fields. Faculty and staff ensure that they are current in the field through professional development, research, volunteer work and/or part time employment within the field. They will bring examples from the workplaces and literature to make their teaching meaningful.
- Teachers who are effective in their presentation of the subject material. The curriculum is taught using a problem based approach in the nursing courses. Teachers do not "teach" in the conventional sense; they facilitate learning by posing questions, encouraging critical thinking, suggesting avenues to pursue as well as clarifying information. Thus this indicator is not applicable for this program.
- Teachers and staff are evaluated on their facilitation techniques and effectiveness on a regular basis and provided with feedback on enhancing their skills.
- Teachers and staff who are helpful outside of class. Students requiring help outside of class have a responsibility to ask for the help they need. All faculties have time to meet with their students.
- Student requests for meetings will be responded to as quickly as possible.
- Student emails and voice messages will be returned as soon as possible but no later than two working days after receipt.
- Feedback about your progress. Feedback will be given on all returned assignments (graded and ungraded). Students will also meet with their tutor's one on one in Professional Practice at midterm and at final, plus receive a written feedback form at that time. Feedback for the Person based courses will occur during the course setting at midterm and final. Students who wish further feedback about their progress may request a meeting with any faculty member for that purpose.
- A high quality classroom learning experience is most effective in an environment of respect and cooperation. Problem based learning involves students to listen, prepare, participate, ask questions and engage in discussion.
- Classes will begin and end on time (Your cooperation and respect for others is key to making this happen.)
- A high quality of lab/shop learning. Students will be using the Clinical Learning Center as well as the Clinical Center for Simulation during their Professional Practice course.
- A high quality of other learning experiences. Students may be engaging in things such as field trips, seminars, and guest speakers.
- Field placement, clinical experiences or co-op work terms. Clinical experiences occur in regional agencies including those in Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, Cambridge, Stratford and beyond.
- Current and relevant course materials (books, software, handouts). Faculty will ensure that texts and supporting material are current and relevant. Students will have some choice as to what textbooks they buy for some courses. Individual course material will be posted on Avenue to Learn for students to use as needed. Feedback will be elicited from students regarding the quality of course materials.
- High quality Lab/shop facilities and equipment. The Clinical Learning Center and the Clinical Center for Simulation have been set up to mimic actual professional practice environments. Equipment is constantly reviewed to make sure that it is similar to that used in the agencies and working correctly.
The College of Nurses of Ontario (2009) provides a list of entry-to-practice competencies. The McMaster Mohawk Conestoga BScN – Conestoga site program provides education to cover all these competencies.
College of Nurses of Ontario (2009). National competencies in the context of entry-level Registered Nurse practice.
Retrieved from http://www.cno.org/Global/docs/reg/41037_EntryToPracitic_final.pdf
Program Design for Your Cohort
Students can find their program design on the student Portal by following the steps below:
- Log in to Student Portal
- Click on 'My Courses' tab
- Select 'View Progress Report' button
Courses are listed by level/semester. Students can also view courses for the most current program design for this academic year on the Conestoga College website. To find these courses, students need to scroll down the page to the 'Program Courses'.
Communication and Contact Information
Program Coordinator Contact Information
|Level 1||Dianne Dal Bello||Ext. email@example.com|
|Level 2||Andrea Miller||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Level 3||Dorothy Baby||Ext. email@example.com|
|Level 4||Susanne Bush||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|RPN-BScN||Jennifer Mohaupt||Ext. email@example.com|
Full-time Faculty Contact Information
|Dianne Allen||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Wendy Azzopardi||Ext. email@example.com|
|Donna Carr||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Dianne Dal Bello||Ext. email@example.com|
|Mary Ellen Fitzpatrick||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lisa-Anne Hagerman||Ext. email@example.com|
|Jane Hamilton-Wilson||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Kathy Moreland||Ext. email@example.com|
|Elizabeth Ledwell||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Jennifer Mohaupt||Ext. email@example.com|
|Casey Sidwell||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
Administration Contact Information
|Chair, Nursing||Heather Cross||Ext. email@example.com|
|Program Assistant||Krisden Galloway||Ext. firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Academic Advisor||Ada Harrison||Ext. email@example.com|
Contacting Program Staff
When contacting program staff outside of class time it is advisable to use e-mail or telephone. Your message should include the following information:
- First and last name
- Course and level
- Brief description of reason for contact
- Telephone number where you can be reached
All students are supplied with a Conestoga College e-mail address. Use the college/McMaster e-mail address ONLY when communicating with faculty. Avenue to learn can also be used to communicate with your tutors. Non-college e-mail addresses (e.g. Hotmail) are not acceptable. Students are expected to check both their college and university e-mail regularly as official communication will be via this method.
a. Procedures to Enter into Faculty & Staff Work Spaces
Faculty/staff offices are located on 4B and students are welcome to see individual faculty and staff to discuss course work, assignments, or just to say hello. Telephones for internal use are located outside the entry to faculty workspaces on 4B. Beside the phone is a directory with extension numbers and office locations.
During the first several days during the start of the semester faculty and staff will explain how you can contact them outside of class time. As faculty and staff have diverse schedules, it is best to make an appointment to ensure they are available. If you have an appointment with a faculty/staff member, please call to confirm that you have arrived and please do not enter until you have confirmation that they are at their pod. If you do not have an appointment, please call the person you wish to meet with to confirm that they are present and can see you; if you do not reach them, please leave a message. In the interest of respecting the work environment for everyone in this area, please do not wander into these work spaces looking for them.
b. Procedures for Dropping off Assignments
If arrangements have not been previously made with individual faculty, students are to drop off assignments into the Wooden Drop Boxes outside Faculty areas.
Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs at the Doon campus. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. The website includes information on past events (pictures and videos) as well as how to get involved. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.
MUNSS (The McMaster University Nursing Student Society)
1. Purpose is to foster in its members’ the ideals and interests of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College, as an interdisciplinary and collaborative community.
2. To promote a spirit of unit and fellowship among students of the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program.
3. To promote opportunities for professional, personal, and social development for Nursing Students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program.
4. To be the recognized means of communication between the nursing student body, the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program, the McMaster Students Union (MSU), the Mohawk Students Association (MSA), the Conestoga Students Incorporated (CSI), and national and provincial nursing and nursing student associations.
5. To stimulate professional and educational growth in the nursing community; and
6. To advocate for the needs of the students in the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga B.Sc.N. Program and to build capacity and empower them throughout their student career.
We appreciate that concerns/issues may arise during the learning experience. Our goal is to collaborate—students with faculty and staff—to resolve situations of concerns quickly and to learn and improve from these situations.
To achieve this goal, we need an effective problem-solving environment. This means:
a. When a situation of concern arises, it needs to be raised in timely manner and discussed by the individuals involved. This is the most important area for effective problem solving.
**Problem-solving closest to the individual associated with the learning is the place to start.
b. Please see the "Student Concerns/Issues" section in the Student Rights and Responsibilities chapter of the college Student Guide for further details to be followed for the informal and formal procedures for the resolution of concerns and issues.
c. Please note that issues and concerns related to a placement site, its operation or its employees should first be brought to the attention of the Conestoga Field Placement Supervisor or Program Coordinator, subject to the additional procedures outlined in the following Sections on "Professionalism" and "Concerns Regarding Safety or Care/Service for Clients during a Practicum/Field Placement".
Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) and Conestoga agree that a student has the right to invite a member of CSI to a student/faculty meeting, provided that 24 hours advance notice is given to faculty. This advance notice will ensure that all parties will have an opportunity to adequately prepare for the meeting.
PAC (Program Advisory Committee)
Each program at Conestoga has a Program Advisory Committee (PAC), which is made up of industry and academic representatives, as well as current students. They meet several times a year to discuss the direction in which that industry is heading and any improvements that can be made to keep the program current. This helps to ensure that students are learning material that is relevant to their industry.
At the beginning of each year, the coordinator of the program will ask for student volunteers. The coordinator will decide which students will represent years one and two. The student attendees are important members of the committee and are expected to be present at the meetings. Students must prepare and submit a report based on guidelines provided by the Program Chair/Coordinator which will be presented at the meeting. Students are expected to be professional, dress in business attire and engage in discussions.
WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative)
Conestoga College offers many unique and exciting opportunities for personal and professional growth. One of the things that contribute to the excellence of this college is the host of exciting extra-curricular opportunities that add to the culture of this fine institution. WIHSC (Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative) is one such club whose members strive to 'learn with, from, and about' each other.
Membership of this active group is comprised of students enrolled in health, community, and social sciences programs at the Doon campus. Some of the most popular initiatives that this group regularly engages in are interactive simulation exercises, peer-mentoring, guest speakers, paper case studies and monthly meetings. To find out more about this exciting opportunity, please visit the WIHSC website. The website includes information on past events (pictures and videos) as well as how to get involved. Get involved, have fun, and learn more about the team members you will work with upon graduation! For more information, please contact your Program Coordinator.
Student feedback is an essential component of our continuous improvement process. Our opportunities for student feedback include:
Key Performance Indicators
All college programs in the province are evaluated using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD). This survey is conducted each academic year in select classes. Strategic goals to improve the programs are developed from these results. This data and other data specific to the campus and the program/school are collected so that Conestoga College can continually improve quality.
Student Appraisal of Teaching
The Student Appraisal of Teaching (SAT) allows direct feedback from students on teaching for a particular course. Completion of the SAT form gives teachers and academic managers valuable information to use for the improvement of teaching at Conestoga.
The SAT process occurs in the last one-third of the semester. Typically about one-quarter of the faculty is appraised per term, and each has two courses selected by their academic managers for appraisal. All teachers have a SAT review at least once every two years. The SAT process is managed by the Office of Institutional Research and Planning using an online survey system specifically designed for course/teacher evaluations. After all marks for the semester have been submitted, a summary of results goes to the academic manager to be shared with the faculty member. Continuing Education students may have an opportunity to complete a SAT form at the conclusion of each Continuing Education course.
Class Cancellations Due to Faculty Absence
All class cancellations due to faculty absences will be posted in the Student Portal on the left hand side of first page which a student sees after logging in. These notices in the Student Portal will be the only general notifications of class cancellations due to faculty absences.
Faculty who will be absent will not be informing students of class cancellations through eConestoga.
Class Cancellations Due to Inclement Weather
College closure due to inclement weather will be announced on local radio stations (92.9; 88.3; 1460; 96.7, 105.3, and 1240). It is up to staff and students to listen for campus closures. If the college is closed a message will be left on the campus switchboard after office hours. A notice will also be placed on the college website.
Personal Notifications of Class Cancellations
Students have the option of receiving special emails or SMS text messages notifying them of class cancellations due to faculty absences. To receive such personal notifications students must subscribe to this special service.
- Log in to the Student Portal
- Select Notifications under the Profile tab
- Select the method by which you would like to be notified
- Click Update.
Note: To change the email address to which these notifications will be sent, select My Addresses under the Profile Tab, and change the default email address.
Code of Behavior
Students are expected to behave in accordance with College policies in regard to behavior. These policies include:
- Academic Regulations and Policies
- Human Rights
- Students' Rights and Responsibilities
These are available through the Conestoga College Student Guide as well as on the Website. Each RPN- BScN student is responsible for ensuring that her or his practice and conduct meet legislative requirements and the standards of the Nursing profession. (College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Professional Standards, 2002).
- Is accountable and responsible for own actions;
- Ensures practice is consistent with current legislation and the standards of practice as defined by the College of Nurses of Ontario;
- Has the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in her or his setting while striving to improve the knowledge, skill and judgment needed to practice in specialized settings.
- Students are expected to work in partnership with their Professor/Clinical Tutors who are Nurses in an Educator role
- Provide learning opportunities for the nursing student to enable them to acquire the knowledge, skills and clinical experience needed to practice
- Evaluate the nursing student's ability to meet the required learning outcomes for each course experience.
College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) Standards include:
Conestoga College has been given the mandate to prepare Registered Nurses. The Province of Ontario expects the College to graduate Nurses who meet the standards that have been established for the profession. The College of Nurses Standards for Practice include continued competency, professional service to the public, current and relevant knowledge, application of this knowledge, professional behavior, responsibility/accountability, and upholding ethical standards. The College of Nurses Ethical Standards value client well-being, client choice, privacy and confidentiality, respect for life, maintaining commitments, truthfulness, and fairness.
Registered Nurses function in an independent and interdependent environment. The majority of the time, the practitioner's involvement at the care recipient's side is of an independent nature, when direct supervision of an action is not possible. There is an implicit trust by the client that the Registered Nurse is an ethical, moral and competent person. The Standards of Practice from the College of Nurses of Ontario, the Regulated Health Professions Act and other program legislation governing professional behavior focuses on the protection of the public.
As students and health care professionals, it is imperative that your behaviors and attitudes reflect the professional, ethical standards that are embraced by your chosen profession. We believe that a value system incorporating high moral and ethical integrity is of vital importance, and regard the absence of such values as critical and dangerous to practice. We believe integrity to be a quality that includes sound moral principles, sincerity, honesty and self-respect.
The College of Nurses of Ontario Guidelines for Professional Behavior state:
"Nurses have a duty to participate in and promote the growth of the profession, and to conduct themselves in a manner which is becoming to the profession"
- Nurses need to care for one another and respect their colleagues. They need to work collaboratively with other Nurses, trust in the expertise of one another, and refer to others when they do not have the necessary knowledge and expertise themselves;
A nurse needs to:
- Contribute to positive team functioning and supporting colleagues
- Conduct oneself in a way which promotes respect for the profession
- Cooperate with regulatory functions
The CNO also has requisite skills and abilities for all nurses; all students are encouraged to review these to ensure they will be eligible to practice under CNO.
Conestoga Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ITAL) has a policy on Standards of Conduct in the Learning Environment.
If a student's behavior/conduct interferes with the learning process or in any way jeopardizes the safe environment of the classroom or clinical setting, the student will be required to leave the class or clinical session.
"Inappropriate Behavior" or unsafe practices may require the withdrawal of the student from the course prior to the end of the course. Consequently, the student will receive a Failing grade for the course.
As a Conestoga- McMaster RPN to BScN student you are also required to behave according to the academic policies of McMaster University, include following the academic integrity policies. Please see: the BScN Handbook and McMaster Integrity Website.
Program Standards for Professionalism
Uniforms and Grooming Guidelines
As a Nursing student in the clinical or community setting your patients and their families see you as a member of the health care team. Your appearance can inspire confidence in your ability to care for them. Neatness, cleanliness, conservative makeup, jewelry, and safety considerations all help to create a look of competence, commitment and professionalism. It is your responsibility to maintain this appearance. If you choose not to do this, your Professor/Clinical Tutor may ask you to leave the clinical area. Specific hospital/agency policies may vary from Conestoga policy. Student uniforms must conform to the uniform policy of the institution in which students are placed. Please note that there is also a dress code policy for the Clinical Learning Centre and the Simulation Lab, both outlined later in this handbook.
- Full uniform must be worn in clinical areas and college simulation labs.
- Bottom of the pant hemline must be sewn above the sole of the shoe
- Warm-up jackets or sweaters that coordinate with the uniform are acceptable, but must not be worn during direct care
- Slips should be worn with skirts
- Undergarments must be worn, choice and style should not create a major contrast between body color and uniform color
- Head coverings, as required must be a neutral colour and appropriate to ensure safety of students and patients.
- If ¾ length shirts or t-shirts are to be worn under the designated uniform they must be black or grey.
Dress Code for Agencies not requiring Uniforms
- Conestoga College name tag must be worn at all times.
- Conestoga identification must be worn and visible at all times in all clinical settings. Identification must include first and last name and designation. Institutional Photo ID may also be required, at the discretion of the institution.
- Wear comfortable low-heeled shoes with closed toes and heels.
- Street clothing should inspire confidence in your ability to care for the client in an appropriate manner (remember this is not a social visit).
- The following are not appropriate for these settings: jeans, tights and leggings, sweat pants, tracksuits, warm-up suits, collarless t-shirts, ankle socks with skirts, revealing necklines or short skirts.
Faculty/staff reserve the right to ask students who do not conform to the uniform policy to leave the clinical, community or lab setting. Time missed must then be made up by the student.
Transportation of Uniform to and from Clinical Settings
- It is important that your uniform be clean when arriving on the unit and that a soiled uniform (that is, one that has been worn for client care) not be worn in a public place. Uniform shoes are NOT to be worn outside of the agency.
- It is the responsibility of the student to find out from each new Professor /Clinical Team Member the particular agency policy regarding wearing the uniform to and from the agency setting.
- In hospitals that allow uniforms to be worn to and from work, the student must ensure that the uniform is covered when outside of the hospital (e.g. with a knee-length coat) and that the student is traveling directly between the hospital and home.
- In hospitals that require the student to change at the hospital, the students will wear street clothes to the hospital and when returning home. The uniform is to be kept in a protective covering during transit.
Uniform shoes must be clean, black or white in color, slip resistant with closed toes and heels, substantial enough with solid covering (no mesh) to prevent foot injury. The shoes worn with the uniform are not to be worn outside of the agency. Clogs (wooden or other), and crocs are not acceptable footwear.
Conestoga identification must be worn and visible at all times in all clinical settings. Institutional Photo ID may also be required, at the discretion of the institution.
Jewelry can be a source of bacteria and injury to students and clients. For these reasons the following restrictions related to jewelry are necessary:
- NO rings, other than plain wedding band
- NO chains - necklaces or bracelets
- NO facial or oral jewelry
- Watches may be worn on the wrist or uniform except when giving direct care
- One professional-looking stud may be worn in each ear lobe. Dangling earrings or stretchers are not acceptable. Flesh colored spacers are acceptable.
When providing patient nursing care it is important that hair not fall forward potentially contaminating clean/sterile areas. For this reason, hair should be neat, clean and kept out of the eyes. If hair is long, it should be tied back and secured with small, plain clips. Long pony tails should be secured up on the head, and not allowed to dangle onto patient field of care. Hair color must be of a natural shade (i.e. no green, blue, pink, etc.). Male students must be clean shaven or have neatly trimmed beards and/or mustaches.
Students are expected to meet hygiene requirements during class, lab and practicum hours.
- Maintain personal cleanliness by bathing daily.
- Oral hygiene (brushing of teeth) required.
- Use deodorant / antiperspirant to minimize body odors.
- No heavily scented perfumes, colognes and lotions. These can cause allergic reactions, migraines and respiratory difficulty for those participating in class, lab and practicums.
- Wash hands after eating and using the restrooms.
- Nails should be kept short, not past the fingertip, and clean.
- No nail polish, nail jewelry, acrylic or artificial nails are permitted.
Personal fragrances (perfume, colognes) should not be worn as fragrances can cause problems for those with allergies or sensitivities.
Smoking in the hospital setting is against the law and may be subject to fine. As health care workers you need to promote a healthy lifestyle. At times clients refuse treatment from nurses who have been smoking.
Chewing gum is not allowed in clinical, lab or community settings.
Food and Beverages
Food and Beverages in the hospital setting are allowed in designated areas only (cafeteria, staff lounge areas).
Cellphones and/or smartphones for personal use are not permitted in the clinical setting/lab and community agencies.
Cowan Health Sciences Centre
Clinical/Lab Dress Code for all students
The Clinical Lab areas of the Cowan Health Sciences Centre (CHSC) are comprised of clinical bed labs, the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning and the Open Access Lab. In order to maintain these as safe professional spaces, appropriate dress must be worn. The purpose of this dress code is to insure the safety of the student, faculty and staff and also to prepare for the clinical environment. The dress code is designed to comply with infection control procedures, workplace health and safety considerations and professional safety.
All lab areas are covered by this policy for all programs in the School of Health, Life Sciences and Community Services. Non-compliance with this dress code will result in the person being asked to leave the lab area. (If during scheduled lab time, this may result in a missed lab)
- Lab coat, scrubs or clinical dress as set forth by the program (should be neat and clean)
- Note: the Cross Centre for Simulation Learning requires full clinical uniform to be worn. i.e. Family of Nursing/RT: scrubs, Paramedic/Pre-Service Fire: uniform
- Closed toe, closed heel shoes as per Occupational Health & Safety requirements
- Hair tied back, if hair is long, then it must be up and secured.
- No rings, necklaces or dangling earrings
- A pair of studs may be worn; one in each ear
- A plain wedding band may be worn
- Nails should be kept neat and short; artificial nails and nail polish are not allowed
- No hats to be worn (exceptions related to the Human Rights Code)
- No denim or sweat pants
- Nametags must be worn
Please be reminded that the labs are a clinical setting and, as such, the requirement for proper hand washing/hygiene is in effect.
Clinical Learning Centre/Open Access Lab
Practice Application Specialists are Nurses who work in the Clinical Learning Centre.
Practice Application Specialists act as a resource in introducing users to the lab, maintaining the lab environment/supplies, and assisting students with practicing and evaluation of skills related to client care. The Practice Application Specialists are also available to students requiring remedial assistance.
WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO MAINTAIN A LATEX-SAFE ENVIRONMENT IN THE CLINICAL LEARNING CENTRE, STUDENTS MUST BE AWARE THAT THE CENTRE AND CLINICAL PLACEMENT AREAS ARE NOT LATEX-FREE ENVIRONMENTS.
Accessing the Clinical Labs
- Procedures for booking Lab practice during normal hours
Booking practice time/and or materials may be done in person with one of the Practice Application Specialists or by telephone (519 748 5220 ext. 3457 at the Doon campus. All materials borrowed for use outside the lab must be signed for and returned to the lab in good condition within the specified time.
- Procedure for booking after-hours and weekend Lab practice
- It is preferred that the booking be done at least 24 hours in advance.
- Contact one of the Practice Application Specialists to book the time. The following information will need to be provided to the Practice Application Specialist:
- Day, time and duration of practice
- Full names of all persons in attendance
- This allows the CHSC team to notify security appropriately
- You must have at least one other person (in the program) with you for this practice
- Persons outside the programs in the School of Health and Life Sciences and Community Services will not be admitted to the Open Access Lab
- Appropriate lab attire must be worn while in the Open Access
- On the day of practice, please check in with Security with your Conestoga ID. Security will unlock the lab
- When you are finished practicing please contact Security to have them lock the door.
- You will not be allowed to use the medication cart during unsupervised practice.
All students must leave the lab by 2200 hours. THE CENTRE MUST NOT BE LEFT UNATTENDED DURING AFTER-HOUR USE.
User Responsibility regarding Clinical Learning Centre Maintenance
Supplies for injection practice will be available ONLY during regular lab hours.
All users will maintain the environment in a safe, clean and tidy manner:
- All equipment must be cleaned, re-stocked and re-wrapped as necessary.
- Beds in low position, neatly made, furniture positioned appropriately.
- Handle manikins carefully.
- Chairs are to be stacked safely in designated areas when not in use.
- Students will be responsible for cleaning and tidying up.
All materials borrowed by teachers and students for use outside the Clinical Learning Centre must be signed for and returned to the centre in good condition within the specified time.
Purses, coats, knapsacks and extra books are to be left in your lockers.
Students are responsible for the replacement of damaged or lost equipment in Clinical Learning Centre or community agencies. e.g.: student dropping IVAC thermometer.
Cross Centre for Simulation Learning
Welcome to the exiting realm of Medical Simulation Education! Conestoga students in Health Science and Biotechnology programs have the fortune of having access to the new Human Patient Simulation Lab, and this has been integrated into your curriculum.
Our program goal has always been:
To develop well prepared strongly motivated, confident and competent health care professionals. Simulation can help us all achieve this goal through:
- Providing immersive experiential learning movements that feel real for the learner.
- Providing the ability to reflect on performance.
- Creating the opportunity to improve.
Lab Space: The environment includes a very real feeling clinical environment. We have stoked these areas with supplies and ancillary equipment to complete the sense of realism.
Mannequins: there are a multitude of hi-fidelity mannequins ranging from adults, paediatric neonates. Most blink, breathe, and simulate most physiologic parameters you can think of. They can live, get sick and even die. They can be afraid, unaware, calm or anxious. You can talk to them and they will talk back. They are our patients.
Actors: at any point there are often other people to interact with during the scenario. They may be nurses, lab technicians, doctors, patient relatives, or even themselves. One or more of your instructors may be in one of these roles. For the sake of realism, they will only interact with you in their assigned character role. (See rule 1 below).
Visitors: time to time, there are visitors interested in the process of hi-fidelity Simulation and far less interest in your specific performance. Still we recognize this can be unnerving and so we will always ask your permission before allowing a visitor to watch from the control room. At any time, you have the right of refusal and visitors will be told upfront.
Audiovisual recording: we record all simulation exercise with multiple camera angles, audio tracks and vital signs displays for later review.
Rules of Engagement for Simulation Experiences
There are 3 guidelines that everyone must follow:
- Keep it real
The simulation environment is created with actors and scenarios requiring you to keep it real. You will be expected to adhere to Program standards of conduct and professional practice to model professionalism and leadership in the simulation environment at all times.
- Respect for others and yourself
It is important to maintain a positive, respectful environment and keep actively engaged. To maintain privacy and confidentiality and out of respect for all involved; experiences and discussions related to the experiences must never be posted via social media.
- Constructive Reflection
This is an opportunity to improve on your performance in a safe and interactive environment. We can all learn through our actions or inactions. Keep it constructive.
Academic Integrity and Plagiarism
Academic honesty is expected and required of all Conestoga students. In order to maximize your success as a student, it is critical that you familiarize yourself with the Academic Integrity Policy found in the Conestoga Student Guide. This guide has been provided to you on our College website. The Academic Integrity Policy provides a detailed description of the following:
- Scope of academic integrity,
- What academic integrity means,
- What types of behaviours constitute a breach of academic integrity,
- The penalties associated with breaching academic integrity.
After reading this information, if you do not fully understand what is meant by academic integrity, and what is required of you to maintain academic integrity, please speak with a faculty member or your program Coordinator. Please note that maintaining academic integrity is very important, and that it is your responsibility as a Conestoga student to know the Academic Integrity Policy and to initiate help if you do not fully understand it.
Below are a few hints to help you avoid breaching academic integrity.
- Make sure that you recognize information that requires referencing.
|Milk is good for you.||General information in the public domain. Does not require referencing.|
"According to Health Canada milk beverages provide the nutrients needed for healthy bones and optimal health".
Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 2011 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php
|Direct quote right from a published source. Requires a reference.|
Consuming milk every day provides the nutrients that you need for healthy bones and optimal health.
Health Canada. (2008). Canada's food guide: Milk and alternatives. Retrieved May 17, 20011 from http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/choose-choix/milk-lait/index-eng.php
|Information that has been put into your own words, but offers information outside of public domain related with specialized knowledge. Requires a reference.|
- Whenever you refer to material from another source, whether book, journal article, video, newspaper, or electronic publications, you must acknowledge your source using proper citations and references. The APA style is the format most often used in the health and social sciences. Please visit the Conestoga Learning Commons for assistance with the APA format.
- If you work collaboratively with others on an assignment, including in class assignments that expect independent submission, make sure that you do not copy words or ideas from others intentionally or by accident.
- Make sure that you read the Academic Integrity Policy located in the Conestoga Student Guide, and that you fully understand it. The policy describes additional behaviours that represent a breach of academic integrity.
Copyright – What Students Need to Know
Photocopying and scanning at Conestoga are governed by the Copyright Act, an agreement with Access Copyright, and the Association of Canadian Community Colleges' Fair Dealing Policy.
Under the terms of our Access Copyright license which gives the broadest permission:
You can photocopy or scan the following:
- Up to 10% of most published works
- One chapter that is greater than 10%, but no more than 20% of the book
- One article, short story, play, poem or essay from a book, magazine or journal issue containing other works
- One newspaper article or page
- One entry from an encyclopedia, dictionary, annotated bibliography or similar reference work
- One drawing, sculpture, painting, print, architectural work of art or work of artistic craftsmanship from a larger volume containing other works.
If you copy 10% of a book today, 10% next week, 10% the week after that, and so on, this is called cumulative copying and it is not allowed. The copy limits apply to an entire academic year, so once you reach the limit for an item, you can't copy more until the next academic year.
You cannot copy or scan the following:
- Workbooks or study guides that are intended for one-time use
- Instruction manuals
- Sheet music and original artistic works including photographs or prints
- Business cases
- Any of the items on the Access Copyright Exclusions list
You can find all of this information and more on the Copyright for Students web page.
If you have any questions about copyright or the limits of copying on campus, contact James Yochem, Copyright Coordinator, at Jyochem@conestogac.on.ca or 519-748-5220 ext. 3746.
Safe practice is a hallmark of professional practice. It is an expectation of everyone who is or wants to be a professional.
There are a number of policies and procedures associated with practical training in your program that have been developed to ensure your safety and the safety (physical and emotional) of those around you. These will be reviewed with you during your program.
The following basic procedures are outlined for your attention and follow-through:
- Your personal safety begins with the use of professional attire and foot wear and with your attention to the health and safety expectations that may be identified throughout the college.
- Help us have a safe and pleasant environment by wiping up spills, by ensuring lap top cords do not snake across walking areas and by reporting equipment or facility problems when you see them.
Concerns such as these in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre may be reported to an employee in the Interprofessional Resources team.
- Specific dress codes, personal protective equipment and specific codes of behavioral conduct may apply to certain programs; failure to follow these may result in your inability to participate in a lab, class or experiential learning activity.
- Safe work practices are to be followed during all training; follow the direction of your instructors. If you have a practicum, your Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Preceptor will ensure that you are aware of safe practices and safety precautions and procedures. This includes problem-solving by the Responsible Faculty and Program Coordinator with the college's Occupational Health & Safety Department as required. For example, should outside temperatures during the summer become unusually hot, very high temperatures may occur in some workplaces; this could require that specific steps be taken to ensure a safe working environment.
- All safety-related accidents, incidents, and near misses must be reported to the Instructor-in-Charge immediately. This is an opportunity to problem-solve about how to avoid these areas of concern for the future.
Student Protection Acknowledgement
A Student Protection Acknowledgement confirmation pop-up will appear when a student logs into the Student Portal on a yearly basis. This will direct students to policies and procedures relevant to their academic responsibilities. All Conestoga College wide academic policies and procedures are listed on the college website under "About Conestoga", "Policies and Procedures".
Students are advised to review and comply with all policies and procedures, including the following:
- Academic Dispute and Resolution Policy & Procedure
- Academic Integrity Policy & Violation of Academic Integrity Procedure
- Academic Recognition Policy
- Academic Credential Procedure
- Clearance of Academic Deficiency Policy & Procedure
- Co-operative Education Policy
- Discontinuance Policy & Procedure
- Eligibility to Participate in Co-op Work Terms Policy & Procedure
- Evaluation of Student Learning Policy & Procedure
- Grading Procedure
- Graduation Requirements and Convocation Procedure
- Honours Policy & Procedure
- Program Withdrawal and Refund Procedure
- Student Code of Conduct Policy
- Student Concerns and Issues Policy & Procedure
- Student Fees Policy & Student Fee Invoicing and Payment Procedure
- Student Feedback Policy
Students must follow all of the policies and procedures for Conestoga College and it is expected that faculty will accept, fulfill and enforce these standards.
Professional Conduct - Use of Social Media and Cell Phones
To support a quality and respectful learning environment both in the classroom and in field placement, the use of cell phones and laptop computers for social networking should only occur during break times, before/after class, outside of children's play areas (indoors/outdoors) and during formal break time in field placement.
Laptops and other forms of technology may be used in the classroom when the use pertains to the content and processes of learning facilitated by the professor/team member. If your technology use is disruptive to the class, the faculty/staff may ask you to leave the class until such time that you are able to re-engage in the learning process.
Social Media Policy
- Social media has many advantages for a professional. It can be used to network, to resource information and keep current
- As a student and future professional, it is essential to maintain professional boundaries in all communication, including Social Media.
- According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2011), "Electronic messages are not anonymous. They can be tracked, misdirected, manipulated and live forever on the internet. Social media sites create and archive copies of every piece of content posted, even when deleted from on-line profiles. Once information is digitalized, the author relinquishes all control." The same organization also indicates "Online identities and actions are visible to the public and can result in serious repercussions or embarrassment. As the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario notes, users may intend to share their online existence solely within their own network, but in theory anyone can access the user's musings, photos and information. Further, the words can be altered, forwarded and misquoted. "
Ontario College of Teachers. (2011). Professional Advisory-Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media. Retrieved May 12, 2015, from https://www.oct.ca/resources/advisories/use-of-electronic-communication-and-social-media
Ensure that your posts reflect you as the professional you are and wish to become – if a potential employer were to see your posts.
- Many types of social media encourage instantaneous, casual dialogue. It is important to remember that even an innocent comment may be easily misunderstood.
- Assume that information you post or send can be accessed or altered by anyone.
- Consider whether any posting may reflect poorly on you, your school, or your profession.
- Avoid online criticism of other students, colleagues, professors or field placements.
- Avoid impulsive, inappropriate or heated comments.
- Pictures should not be taken, posted to social media sites or shared without the express permission of all individuals involved.
- Remember that online sites you visit are not anonymous.
- Make sure your on-line name and email reflect professionalism.
- Ensure that your postings will not be considered harassment or defamation of a peer, colleague, faculty or others.
Maintain privacy of all care and service activities when in practical work experiences:
- Do not take or post any pictures while on placement or involved in lab activities
- Maintain client-provider relationships and boundaries. The addition of a client to a 'friendship" status online is unacceptable.
Please respect the fact that your faculty and staff will not invite you to their personal web pages when you are a current student, nor will they accept any invitations to your personal sites (Keep faculty and staff as resources to connect with after you have graduated or after you have left the college)
Cell Phone Policy
Students should respect their professors and other instructors by following program policy and not use their cell phones for personal use during class time. This is representative of the professional manner in which you are expected to act as you prepare to enter the workforce.
Students will not bring their cell phone or technology device into a test or examination, unless required for the examination and approved by the faculty. Phones should be left in your locker or left in your bag at the front of the classroom. In the event of an urgent need to keep your cell phone with you during a test (parents with young children, students experiencing a family emergency, etc.) please speak to your professor as soon as you enter the examination room. Those who have been permitted to bring a phone into the classroom will likely be asked to either leave the phone with the professor, or they may be permitted to leave their phone out on their desk where it is visible to the professor and proctors. In any case, students are not permitted to touch or answer the phone without raising their hand to ask for the professor/proctor's permission. If you are found to have a cell phone in your possession during an examination that has not been declared, you will be asked to leave the examination room, and will be given a zero on the assessment.
In view of the learning complexities of the BScN Nursing Program, it is imperative that students attend classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences as scheduled. Health Science Programs are based on competency-based curricula with defined learning outcomes, which place a great deal of emphasis on the minimum theoretical and practical competencies required to enter the profession. Therefore, students who are absent from class, lab, clinical, and community experiences place themselves in academic jeopardy in meeting the learning outcomes as stipulated by the Program.
If extenuating circumstances require students to miss a learning experience, please note that it is the student's responsibility to share this information with faculty and to acquire any missed information.
Student Absence for Test/Examination or Due Date of an Assignment:
Please see the BScN Handbook for current policies and/or your Level information.
Clinical Practice Attendance
Attendance at Clinical Practice and college laboratories is mandatory.
Punctuality: In order to be respectful to both fellow students and to faculty and staff, students are expected to arrive on time for classroom, lab, clinical, and community experiences. Repeated late arrivals may result in the student being denied access to the class or clinical experience.
The campus will make the cancellation decision, sometime between 0515 and 0545hrs. If Conestoga College Doon Campus is closed for any reason, such as weather, all classes are cancelled. If McMaster University is closed but Conestoga, Doon Campus, remains open, classes continue.
Faculty and students should listen to the local radio stations which will broadcast the cancelation of College activities.
Required Skills and Abilities to Attend Professional Practice
In the Event of Temporary Change in Health Status
Professional practice or clinical practice is part of each level of the RPN-BScN Program at Conestoga College. The expectation is that students attend 100% of their clinical experience and fully participate in providing patient care. A primary responsibility of the Program is consideration for the health and safety of patients/clients/residents in the clinical setting and of students. The Program, in keeping with requirements set out by the College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) and reflected in the entry-to-practice competencies, requires that students meet the requisite skills and abilities as defined by the College of Nurses (2012).
The components necessary for nursing practice have been placed in the following 7 categories:
The Program requests practice placements for our students from our clinical partners. This relationship is formalized through affilliation agreements which define responsibilites of both parties. Students are guests in these practice environments who must abide by the policies and procedures of the site and ensure principles of infection prevention and control are maintained.
If a student cannot meet the requisite skills and abilites and/or requires the use of assistive devices that may contribute negatively to infection prevention and control practices, the student will not be permitted to participate in professional practice activities. Each case will be considered individually and evaluated by the Placement Office and the Level Coordinator. In order to return to placement, medical documentation is required that clearly indicates the student is able to resume full duties without any restrictions. Reference: College of Nurses of Ontario. (2012) Requisite Skills and abilites for nursing practice in Ontario. Toronto, Ontario: College of Nurses of Ontario, p.1-3
Students are permitted by Conestoga policy to be absent from class to observe a recognized religious holiday. Any student who is unable to attend classes or participate in an examination, study, or work requirement on some particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be given the opportunity to make up the work that was missed or do alternate work/examinations subject to timely notification.
Conestoga recognizes all religious holidays as defined by the College Employer Council
It is the responsibility of the student to:
a. Plan ahead and be aware of the dates of all examinations and other course obligations;
b. Advise the faculty member that he/she will be seeking accommodation to observe a recognized religious holiday and make a request in writing to your Program Coordinator within the first three weeks of the semester and prior to the date of assessment that falls on the religious holiday. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.
Documentation to Substantiate Your Reported Absence
Evaluations worth less than 20%
Missed evaluations worth less than 20% of the student's final grade will be rescheduled once per program semester subject to proper communication described above.
Once per program semester means that only one absence for an evaluation will be accepted across all courses in a program for a semester. Implications of major illnesses or personal circumstances impacting several course evaluations at one time will require discussion with the program coordinator prior to faculty/staff arranging deferred evaluations.
If an evaluation cannot be rescheduled (for example an experiential activity or participation in a group presentation) reallocation of marks will be determined by faculty. This will be documented on an interview record and signed off by both faculty/staff and student.
If more than one evaluation that is worth less than 20% is missed, documentation requirements for evaluations worth 20% or more apply.
Evaluations worth 20% or more
Any student who misses an evaluation worth 20% or more will receive a mark of zero unless the reason for missing the evaluation and the accompanying documentation verifying the reason for the absence are deemed acceptable by the program. Examples of reasons deemed acceptable include incapacitating illness, death of a close family member, and required court appearance.
NB: If an evaluation is missed due to illness, the health care professional attesting to the illness must have firsthand knowledge of the situation and direct involvement with the treatment / management of the condition. For example, a note from a clinic provided by a physician seeing the student for the first time, after the illness has resolved, is unlikely to meet the program standard for documentation.
Acceptable reasons for Absence
- Compassionate Leave: Requests for a Leave of Absence to attend to family illness, death or family problems are granted. These requests will be submitted to the Professor who will consult with the Program Co-ordinator and/or Chair if necessary. A Leave that impacts clinical experiences may affect success in the semester.
- Jury Duty: Any student who receives a summons for Jury Duty should bring the document to the Chair to assess if it can be arranged to have the student excused if such duty interferes with the progress in the program.
- Illness: Students experiencing health concerns that prevent attendance should notify their professor of their absence in advance and be prepared to present a certificate from a physician in the event of missing any form of assessment.
Students completing the McMaster-Mohawk-Conestoga BScN program must refer to the Undergraduate Nursing Education Program Handbook as well as the current McMaster course calendar for academic policies and grading criteria.
The policies that are relevant to you are those that are published in the handbook of the year you enrolled in the program. For example, if you entered the program in fall of 2015, you should use the handbook dated 2015-2016 throughout your years in the program.
You can find the McMaster Undergraduate Calendar on the website under the registrar's office.
Specific policies for students enrolled in the BScN program regarding achievement criteria, academic probation, discontinuance, withdrawal, appeals, clearance of academic deficiencies, and process for resolution of student concerns may be found in the two publications mentioned above.
This document will be completed at the discretion of the faculty, coordinators or Program Chair when a student's practice and/or classroom performance or behaviour is:
- of concern
The identified goals will indicate clearly to the student what action must be taken if he/she is to be successful in the semester.
After viewing and signing of this form, a copy is:
- Given to the student
- kept in the student's file
Clinical Remediation Process
Clinical instructors are committed to provide students with clinical experiences that enhance learning as well as ensure the safety of patients in the clinical setting. The program is designed to certify that students are equipped with optimal theoretical and practical knowledge in order to provide safe care to patients. Students who are deemed by their clinical educator as not meeting safety and/or clinical outcomes may be removed from the clinical area. To facilitate student success a student may be entitled to remediation, with the goal of returning to the clinical setting and completing the course. While this process is meant to support student success, it does not guarantee a pass in the course.
General Education / Breadth Electives
School of Liberal Studies
The purpose of General Education and Degree Breadth electives is to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to succeed both professionally and in their own personal lives. Working collaboratively with your program, General Education and Degree Breadth courses help develop the critical and creative thinking skills, civic engagement and knowledge of the broader world of arts, culture and science that helps make you more reflective, creative, and effective in your own life.
All Ontario College Diploma, Ontario College Advanced Diploma, and Degree programs at Conestoga require students to complete general education electives / interdisciplinary breadth.
More information on these courses can be found at www.conestogac.on.ca/electives.
Process for Resolution of Student Concerns
In order to resolve any concerns which may arise during a course, field placement or relating to the program overall, students are encouraged to resolve issues or concerns informally at the program level prior to proceeding to a formal appeal.
If attempts have been made, and a successful resolution has not been reached, students are encouraged to refer to their Conestoga Student Guide, and to follow the procedures outlined under the "Academic Dispute Resolution and Appeal Procedure" section.
Maintaining Student Files
- Official records of each student's education are maintained electronically by the Registrar.
- Administrative records related to your experience in the Program are maintained to demonstrate compliance with external and college requirements. This information is as follows:
|Student Information||File Location and Student Access||Retention|
Pre Practicum Health Requirements (if applicable)
In H.S Trax, by individual student access
**accessed through My Conestoga
Acknowledgement of WSIB Understanding (if applicable)
Student Consents Signed on Admission electronically (varies per program)
- Academic Files are set up as required for a student to document important matters relevant to a student's progress or to document and monitor resolution of concerns.
|Student Information||File Location and Student Access||Retention|
A. Documents related to academic progress
||For 1 year following graduation or as required by accrediting body|
B. Records of Competency Attainment
|As above||As above|
C. Documents related to areas of Concern
|As above||As above|
- Students may review the contents of their academic file by:
- Requesting this in writing to the Program Coordinator
- Reviewing the file in the presence of the Coordinator
Additional Information for Students
- Add/drop dates for courses: Please refer to dates in the McMaster Undergraduate calendar.
- Not attending a course does not constitute an official dropping of a course and will result in a grade of "F". If you have missed that time period please see the program coordinator and she will advise you as to your options.
- For further academic advisement, e.g. enquires about potential course credits from another university, please consult the Conestoga McMaster BScN Academic Adviser for the BScN program. Her office is on 4B, Conestoga College. You may also speak with the program/level coordinator.
- Locate the Conestoga Student Guide for further information
What you can expect from us:
We endeavour to create the safe learning environment; an environment that reinforces what you do well, identifies gaps and helps you improve performance. WE make four basic assumptions about learning (that's you) participating in simulation exercises:
- You are intelligent
- You are well trained
- You care and want to do your best
- You want to improve
Additional Student Information
Change of name, address and telephone number
Change of name, home, temporary residence address and telephone numbers must be reported immediately in writing to the to the Registrar's office. Forms for reporting changes are available from the Registrar's office. Failure to report these changes could seriously hamper relevant communication between the college and the student.
Guidelines and expenses incurred relating to clinical practice
Students will assume responsibility for expenses incurred while assigned to affiliating agencies, such as: meals, lockers, keys, parking, travel expenses and uniforms.
While students are enrolled in the BScN Nursing Program:
- Assigned functions and responsibilities within any clinical agency in which they are employed will not be recognized by the College in any form or fashion.
- The College does not assume responsibility for student performance while they work part-time in a clinical agency.
- Students are not to wear the crest or name bar showing Conestoga College or McMaster logo.
- Students should realize that historically students who work a lot of part-time hours are less successful in the program.
- If a highly contagious outbreak occurs and a student is employed in a health care agency, their employment hours and/or clinical placement hours may be directly affected dependent on the agency's Infection Control Policy.
Please see BScN handbook for more detail on part-time work, while in the Program.
Student Consent Forms
Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go on myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.
Practicum Health Requirements
Mandatory practicum health and safety requirements must be completed by students prior to student field/clinical placements. Successful placement completion is required for students to progress to program completion. To qualify for field/clinical placement learning experiences, students must present the following at the start of the program in accordance with pre-admission information provided by the College:
- A complete immunization record including MMR, Tdap, Varicella, and Hepatitis B. Seasonal flu vaccination is required during flu season (October – March).
- TB Testing: Evidence of current 2-step or previous 2-step + current 1-step if more than one year has passed since 2-step testing.
- CPR – HCP level
- An annual Police Check for Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS). Police Checks must be clear of any unpardoned criminal offences. An unclear criminal record may result in the inability to participate in field placement/clinical which will jeopardize progress in the program. Acceptance for placement is at the discretion of the agency; some agencies may request students to provide a VSS completed within six months of placement start date. Students with criminal records are advised to meet with the program chair for academic counselling to determine program suitability.
Safety in the Workplace Course
All students who participate in unpaid work placements during the course of their program will be required to successfully complete the mandatory Safety in the Workplace course prior to going out on placement. The course will provide students with an introduction to workplace hazards and general safety awareness. Students will receive a Record of Completion to provide evidence of this training to placement sites and will consent to their workplace insurance coverage.
Student Consent Forms
Students are required to complete program specific consent forms. To access the forms, students should go to the Practicum Services Community on myConestoga and open the Consent Forms tab. Students can then electronically sign-off all applicable consent forms after reading each document.
Prior to your first placement, you must electronically sign a Declaration of Understanding of WSIB Coverage related to Unpaid Clinical Placements indicating you understand that WSIB coverage will be provided through the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities while you are on training placements. This Declaration will be placed in your student file. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Declaration of Understanding for WSIB Coverage has been electronically signed, in the Safety in the Workplace Course - OHS1320, and visible on your H.S. Trax home page to be eligible to attend your field experience.
Additional Requirements-AODA Training
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)
The purpose of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) is to ensure that all Ontarians have fair and equitable access to programs and services and to improve opportunities for persons with disabilities.
All students must complete AODA training in the first semester.
Basic Safety Training
All students must achieve 100% on WHMIS test in first semester.
Conestoga College is committed to establishing and maintaining a healthy and safe work and study environment.
General safety consideration will be provided in the Orientation to in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre. Throughout your course of study your teacher will guide you through the use of safe work practices. Safety considerations and the safe handling and use of equipment in the Cowan Health Sciences Centre are incorporated within the leaning outcomes of your program.
It is the student's responsibility to follow guidelines for safety once they have been taught and to ensure that they have had training on the use of any equipment prior to its use.
Any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner will be asked to leave the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.
The Practice Application Specialist and Clinical Simulation Educator have the authority to ask any person who fails to comply with Health and Safety regulations or handles equipment in an unsafe or abusive manner to leave the Cowan Health Sciences Centre.
Concerns Regarding Student Safety or the Safety and Care/Service for Clients
Field placement experiences provide the opportunity to demonstrate and enhance your learning in the practice environment. These practicums have been organized by your Program in partnership with the organization where you have been placed.
The following procedures have been developed to make it easier to identify and address any concerns or issues regarding your safety or the safety and care of clients that may come up during the practicum in a way that supports both a solid learning experience and a constructive partnership with the practicum site.
A. Communication of General Concerns regarding Your Safety or The Safety and Care/Service for Clients
1. Students will be provided with an Orientation to their placement site on the first day of their placement. The Orientation may include details of the placement site's policies and procedures related to communication about the safety of the work environment and /or the safety and care of patients/residents/clients.
2. If a student has any concerns about the safety of the work environment and/or the safe/appropriate care/service for clients:
- The student must immediately report these concerns to the College individual associated with the practicum (Clinical Instructor, Faculty responsible for your practicum, Field Placement Supervisor).
- The Clinical Instructor /Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Supervisor will discuss this concern with Site Management
- For concerns of a serious nature (e.g. concerns impacting a total student group; a serious care/service situation), the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Supervisor will discuss the situation with the Program Coordinator and, potentially, the Department Chair. The Coordinator or Chair will immediately contact practicum site management to determine next steps.
Should facility policies require that practicum students report safety or care/service concerns immediately to practicum site management, the student should report to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Officer immediately afterward.
B. Reporting of Incidents of Student Injury During a Practicum Experience
1. Should students experience personal injury of any kind, this must be reported immediately to the Placement Employer and Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Supervisor. The Placement Employer will provide first-aid that may be necessary, including arranging for transportation to emergency medical services if required. The Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Supervisor will notify the Program Coordinator and Chair and complete an Unpaid Work/Education Placement-Accident Report (UWEP-04) and will send this to the College's Occupational Health & Safety Office. Where necessary, the Occupational Health & Safety Office will complete a WSIB 7 form, a Letter of Authorization to Represent Placement Employer and a Work/Education Placement Agreement Form.
C. Reporting of Student Involvement in Situations of Possible Injury to Clients During A Practicum Experience or Student Damage to Facility Property
1. Should students be involved in care/service situations where there the care/service results in a potential concern/injury to patients/residents/clients of the placement site, this concern must be immediately reported to the Practicum Site in order that care can be given. This situation must also be reported immediately to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Field Placement Supervisor. The faculty member will discuss this immediately with the placement site and ensure that an incident report is completed. The faculty member must also inform the Program Coordinator and the Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Chair to ensure that all documentation is obtained regarding the incident and to inform College officials accordingly.
2. Should students be involved in situations where there is alleged damage to resources/physical property at the Practicum site, this concern must be reported immediately to the Practicum Site and to the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Placement Officer. The faculty member will inform the Program Coordinator and Department Chair for a discussion of program expectations and implications. It is the responsibility of the Clinical Instructor/Responsible Faculty/Placement Officer to complete an incident report with the Chair accountable to ensure all documentation is obtained and to inform College officials accordingly.
The finance office contains a list of all bursaries and scholarships available for students. On a regular basis, they email all students which bursaries have come due for application. At any time, students may check the College web site for relevant financial aid.
RPN-BScN students may apply for any eligible scholarships or bursaries they are eligible for from the 3 collaborative sites: Conestoga, McMaster, and Mohawk. Please see Awards website from appropriate sites for more information or contact the Financial Aid offices.
|GGH Volunteer Association||$300||Highest mark across sites|
|Sister Beatrice Schnarr Scholarship||$250||Highest mark Conestoga Site|
|Mary-Joe Halliwell General Proficiency Award||$500||Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high level of theoretical academic achievement (A range), ability to apply theory to clinical practice, and personal and professional growth.|
|The R.N.A.O. Wellington Chapter Award||$500||Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrates professional development through participation in professional Nursing Student Association Activities. The student is a student member of R.N.A.O. and participates in community based activities.
(Students to submit a letter of application of 150 words or less, plus a reference letter from a faculty who they have worked with in levels 3 or 4)
|RNAO Waterloo Chapter Leadership Award||$350 plus One year free membership to RNAO||Awarded to a graduating student who has demonstrated leadership or professional initiative on behalf of patient care and / or the nursing profession.|
|Jean O'Leavy Award for Excellence in Nursing||$200||Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high ability to apply theory to clinical practice, consistent personal and professional growth, and high academic achievement (A range).
|Judy Cooper Memorial Award||$200||Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated support to classmates and a caring attitude to patients, satisfactory performance in the completion of clinical/ community experiences, and high academic achievement (B+ or greater).|
|Dr. Stanley F. Leavine Memorial Award||$100||Awarded to a graduating student who demonstrated high ability to apply theory to clinical practice, consistent personal and professional growth, and high academic achievement (A range).
|BScN Faculty Leadership Award RPN to BSCN stream||variable
full-time or part-time student in year 4 of the McMaster-Conestoga RPN to BScN stream of the program
demonstrate dedication to his/her studies and commitment to the program; demonstrate excellence in application of clinical studies
|Lilian Brown Nursing Award||$500||Summative Average of 9.5, demonstrates initiative, care and compassion in clinical practice|
|Homewood Foundation Scholarship in Psychiatric Nursing||$1000||Exhibits an interest in mental health and is completing or will be completing a mental health placement|
|Ardelle Darling Memorial Award||$250||accepted into 3rd year, demonstrates caring and compassion, communicates effectively, demonstrates passion for the profession|
|Kathy Sullivan Memorial Award||$1000||Exhibits strong work ethic, and above all for you empathetic and caring attitude.|
|Last Revised||By Whom|
|June 18th, 2015||Jillian Grant|
|June 23rd, 2015||Lynn Voelzing|
|May 17th, 2016||Shelley Sager|
|June 28th, 2016||Jillian Grant|
|June 28, 2016||Lynn Voelzing|
|June 14th, 2017||Krisden Galloway|
|June 21st, 2017||Brett Gibson|
Conestoga College is dedicated to promoting an equitable environment where students have the opportunity to participate in all aspects of College life. In accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code, Conestoga College recognizes its responsibility and legal obligation to provide education, information and services in an accessible manner.
The Program Handbook is intended to provide general information with respect to program expectations. There may be individual accommodations and/or medical circumstances that require exceptions. For example, students may need to be accommodated for a missed assignment or evaluation. Students who are registered with Accessibility Services are not required to provide an additional doctor's note for a missed or late evaluation. For more information about Accessibility Services please drop in or visit our website.
We recognize that other extenuating circumstances may apply. Consult with your Professor. All exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved by the Chair.